The brutality of the cross, Although the symbol of the cross appears in much pagan history prior to Jesus, the crucifixion cross has historical meaning due to the fact that crucifixion was a real, historical method of execution. As an instrument of death, the cross was detested by the Jews, so it became a stumbling block for them when considering Jesus. How could the Messiah be executed on a cross? After all, the Greek and Roman Empire executed thousands of criminals and captives in just this manner. This form of punishment was usually reserved for such crimes as treason, desertion, robbery, piracy, assassination, and other such crimes. It continued in the Roman Empire until the day of Constantine, when it was abolished as an insult to Christianity. How could God allow this type of horrific death to occur to His only Son? Why did Jesus have to die on the cross? What did he do that deserved this kind of death? Well, let's take a look at the Bible to follow the trail that will lead us to the truth!
The cross reconciles our debt The Bible recognizes the truth that all sin must be punished. After all, God is just. And justice requires that wrongs are punished. You know that is true even for us living here on earth. We have to obey the laws or be punished! And God has a set of holy commandments (laws) that must also be obeyed. So, it shouldn't surprise you that God requires this justice of us. The Bible also tells us that we could never pay the price for our sin on our own. Our sin is punishable by death. So, the cross is the place where Jesus paid the price for us, and in doing so, he united us to God:
for he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to...